7 tips to better communicate a layoff

Layoffs are hard on everyone, but don’t make them more painful than they need to be.

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The U.S. economy is allegedly improving, but try telling that to the 4,500 employees who lost their jobs at Citigroup, or the 30,000 who will leave Bank of America in the next few years.

The fact is, layoffs happen even when the economy is doing well. Industry trends, competition, cost management and many other factors can cause companies to shed employees.

Layoffs are awful for everyone involved. Of course, the people who lose their jobs suffer the most. But to be fair, those left behind—even company leaders—suffer when companies cut jobs.

Communication can help ease the pain. There is nothing that can make people feel good about layoffs—unless you are a compassionless shareholder—but if you communicate layoffs the right way, you can help ease the pain and facilitate recovery.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you communicate layoffs:

Develop a plan.

You might not know in advance that your company will lay people off, but it’s a good practice to have a communicator at the table from the start. Regardless of when you are brought into the discussion, the first thing to do is develop a communication plan.

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